a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Archive for June, 2010

TRKFEST, Trekky Records Collective, and Piedmont Industrial

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

The Third annual TRKFEST happened on Saturday. TRKFEST began in 2008 as a one-day local music festival and fundraiser for Trekky Records Collective, a record label with the purpose of helping local musicians release and distribute their music. It was founded in 2001 by two high school students/artists who wanted to revitalize the indie music scene in NC. Trekky Records is now a collaborative community of 40 musicians and artists connecting bands, artists, labels, venues, record stores and people.

TRKFEST has been held at Piedmont Biofuels Industrial campus, a creative hotbed – you should definitely check out the website – it’s a bio-diesel plant and home to a host of other endeavors – research and development of technologies old and new, a CSA farm project, and services providing training and education through on-site and traveling workshops. More on my love for Piedmont in Pittsboro later (or visit this site, now).

Right now, I’m still basking in the glow of both a Summer Full Moon and the musical magical energy that glowed into the night. People were there to focus on the music, along with some dancing, a lot of hugging and a whole lotta love. The banana trees were twice the size as last year and I ate a tomato and cucumber salad grown right on site – it was the best ever.


Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

“In summer we live out of doors, and have only impulses and feelings, which are all for action…”
Henry David Thoreau

Whew! So this explains my state of being over the past few weeks! My energy has seemed to be dispersed — like molecules of water that just keep separating and moving.

Enjoy. Indulge. Disperse.











Feelin’ It

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Connection. Is. Everything. As perfectly imperfect human beings, we crave experience and energy that comes from connection. And we get it through our experiences – either directly or indirectly – with other people. We also get it from connecting to a place inside ourselves. There’s a balance between the two – an edge we have to walk in order to fulfill our intellectual and emotional needs.

The difficult part about the inner world is that it often feels incomplete until I connect it to another person’s energy, one who can mirror my own thoughts and desires. Yoga teachers need students, and  want to connect with other yoga teachers. Musicians and artists need an audience – and they need other musicians and artists. Even our everyday experiences carry the desire to be shared. (If you doubt this, spend a little time on Facebook.)

Just like anything, walking the middle path can be tricky, as addictions apply to just about anything. But, I’m enjoying the ride and hoping that we can keep pushing ourselves to that idea of oneness and all that goes with that.

Here’s one music video, called, YES!– that got me thinking about all of this (along with a few other more personal experiences). It comes from Colourmusic, an OK-based indie rock band as part of the Oklahoma Creativity Project and directed by band member, Nick Turner. It’s really simple. It’s kind of sweet. It will describe everything I tried to to say above, but a lot better. You’ll be feelin’ it.

Jesus’ Wheels

Friday, June 18th, 2010

If Jesus had a car, I’ll just bet it would look something like this:

It’s Not About The Hat – an ode to Billy Jack

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

It looks like the legend of Billy Jack lives on in the West today! I am reminded of my recent discovery of the re-release of this iconic movie and its anti-hero’s hero of an important civil rights movement. Read below.

The 1971 movie, Billy Jack and it’s prequel, Born Losers, will be screened by Cinefamily in Los Angeles on July 2nd. Director, producer, and star, Tom Laughlin will be in attendance.


by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

I watched the re-release of Born Losers over the weekend, the 1st of a series of 4 independent films featuring the character of Billy Jack, released between 1971 and 1977. I had seen the better-known three that followed this one the week before – for my full report, go here. It was then I found Born Losers and decided I wanted to complete my viewing experience.

This film is definitely more rough than the sequels, but what can I say? It was still the peaceful but fierce Billy Jack in his full but quiet glory. Despite the dated tone of all the films, I have had Billy Jack on the brain, complete with some intense episodic dreams. This morning, I woke up with this in my head – sort of my “ode to Billy Jack”:

Billy Jack fights quietly and steadily against what is unjust, with just a bit of swagger in his stride and a steely glaze in his eye.

Billy Jack knows when it’s too late, but it doesn’t ever stop him from tilting his hat to the sun and squinting, as if there is something he has missed.

Billy Jack doesn’t need to be liked, loved or revered. Because of this, he is liked, loved and revered.

Billy Jack owns many demons – they are internal warriors who protect rather than torment him.

Billy Jack always, but always, knows exactly what to do.

Billy Jack knows a good fight when he sees one and knows when to turn and walk away (cue swagger).

Where Balloons Go To Die

Monday, June 14th, 2010

I run or hike on trails in the woods every morning with my dogs and I appreciate the fact that I’m out there on nature’s terms. It’s not exactly Wild Kingdom, but I’ve been up close and personal with snakes, turtles, raccoons, deer and was even followed by a coyote one day (ok, that one was not my favorite, but still, all part of the package). This morning, I came upon a very baby possum, living proof that all things in infant form are adorable.

So, it felt entirely out of context to come across these deflated party balloons in the woods yesterday. What’s up with balloons anyway? There’s a store down the street that sells nothing but balloons. Really? So much for form and function.

Ok, I really do have a life, but still, I had to look up a little balloon history:

The first balloons were invented/discovered in the 18th century in France and made from paper. By 1803, we made balloons in the first rubber factory, and now balloons are made from latex, which is rubber mixed with chemical additives. Some of these chemicals, of course, end up as waste in the manufacturing process – the others? Well, most end up as waste in their burst balloon state – like these in the forest, after just a few hours of use. Although rubber and latex will slowly degrade, the coagulant chemicals – or the ribbons tied onto the tails – will not.

Watching a helium-filled balloon float off “into space” is only a fantasy. Those balloons inevitably end up earthbound, tangled in tree limbs, on the ground, or in waterways, where they endanger wildlife and the environment.

Something Old, Something New…

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

After watching a little bird disappear inside, I found this nest in this lamp by my front door. It reminded me of many things about this thing we call Life.

It also reminded me that if we make room for the natural world rather than trying to conquer it….we might just see the light.



What Would Dad Do?

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

I posted this story for Father’s Day a couple years ago. It’s still one of my favorite memories.

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Here’s the set up. I was 17 and driving my Dad’s new car – I mean, really new car – he had driven it off the lot something like 3 days before. My mom had a showcase, ’69 Mustang and it had just been repaired and repainted. My twin sister was driving the Mustang that day and at some point, ended up ahead of me, both of us going about 35mph, just a few miles from home. (Yeah, I know. This was before the logic of carpooling had entered my teenage brain.)

Now, let me first tell you a little about my dad. He’s a 6’1″ Italian with a deep, booming voice, who’s not afraid to use it. He was and is old-school strict, with a “mafiosa” look that often gets him the best table at a restaurant, if you know what I mean.

Back to that Spring day. I next did one of those stupid driving tricks – and reached for something on the floorboard. By the time my head came up, my sister had stopped in front of me for someone making a left turn. You guessed it – wham! I hit my mom’s car with my dad’s car. Looking at me in the rear view mirror in disbelief, my sister slowly and dutifully pulled over. But for some reason, my panicked thoughts of “I am in so much trouble!!” caused me to step on the gas, race past my stunned sister in the Mustang and speed home. Hit and run, anyone?

Well, I half crawled up our front steps, sobbing and hiding my face. Dad came out, with that concerned but stern look he wore a lot, grabbed my arm and demanded, “What’s wrong? What is it?” In a voice broken with sobs, I confessed that I had just crashed his new car into Mom’s car (my sister had pulled up by now). He paused, looked at the cars, looked back at me and asked, “Did anyone get hurt?” I stammered back, “No, but……” He let go of my arm, demanding again, loudly, “What’s the problem then?” and walked into the house without looking back.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. You taught me a lot. I love you.

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